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Buck & Evans

Tuesday 19th November 2019

The 100 Club, London

I should confess and apologise for having let the memory of this night fade a little into the mists of time; subconsciously I think I’ve been trying to forget it, although that is not the fault of the headliners. Far from it…
If there’s one thing that annoys me more than try to see the stage through a sea of smartphone screens, it’s trying to hear live music above the chatter of an inattentive audience. Much as I love this venue’s Blues/Rock nights, they do sometimes tend to attract punters who think the music is there as a backdrop to their conversations. The worst examples of this are support bands who talk loudly through the headline set…
On a point of principle I will not review the support set, as two members of the band joined a group of their young fans and proceeded to jaw through the first half of Buck & Evans’ splendid set. When I asked them politely to tone the volume down, I was advised to push my way to the front of the crowd (where I’d still have had the chatter behind me, rather than in front of me…); I pointed out that we’d all listened respectfully to their set and would now like to hear the band we’d paid for, but was advised “we’re not in church, you know”.
All of which made the first half of the headline set difficult to concentrate on, despite the fact that Buck & Evans were playing as well as ever, with Bob Richards’ fine drumming at least cutting through the competing noise. To what extent the band were aware of or distracted by the chatter, I don’t know, but Chris Buck’s guitar solos seemed to grow in length and invention during the second half of the show as the background noise died down.
The fourteen songs played included the eleven song debut album in its entirety (although, unsurprisingly, played in a different order); I have reviewed that separately (watch this space) and would recommend it unreservedly. Of the additional songs, Otis Redding’s ‘Dreams To Remember’, which has long been a staple of the band’s live gigs, was perhaps the outstanding showcase for both Chris’ guitar and Sally Ann Evans’ powerful voice.
Make no mistake, Buck & Evans is a fine band which always repays the loyalty of its growing fan base. If you haven’t caught them live yet, be sure to put that right; you’ll surely be surrounded by more attentive listeners than was sadly the case at the 100 Club.
Setlist: One Four; Going Home; Slow Train; Common Ground; Impossible; Treat Me Right; Fix You; Trail Of Tears; Change; Dreams To Remember; Sunrise; Sinking; Back To Yesterday; Ain’t No Moonlight.
Gary Smith

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